From Sivakasi, with love for volleyball

More than 150-plus students from Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal College in Sivakasi have travelled here to watch the Chennai Spartans in action in the Pro Volleyball League.

College students form Sivakasi cheering Chennai Spartans on the first day of the Chennai leg.   -  M. Vedhan

Though the Nehru indoor stadium didn't witness a full house on the first day of the inaugural season of the Pro Volleyball League here in Chennai, a part of the stands was filled with yellow-clad college students, who bustled up and celebrated every point that their favourite team Chennai Spartans scored.

They were a group of 176 under graduate students from Sivakasi, pursuing Bachelor of Science in Physical education, Health education & Sports from the Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal College (ANJAC).

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They had pooled in money and their college volleyball coach Suresh Babu had planned the trip, says first-year student Rahul. "He (coach) knows Naveen Raja Jacob (Chennai Spartans), since Naveen was in the SDAT hostel in Tirunelveli," he adds.

"Naveen is our favourite player. We've been watching almost all the matches on TV, but have particularly been following the Chennai team," says another first-year student Siva Maharajan.

Chennai scores a point. They raise, wave yellow flags, cheer loudly, and settle down.

"Since we are Physical Education students, we know the rules by heart. We are big volleyball fans. Even before the start of this league, we used to watch volleyball matches on TV. We've also undertaken a few trips across Tamil Nadu to watch volleyball tournaments," adds Siva.

The group had arrived here on an overnight train journey, are staying in the hostel at the Mayor Radhakrishnan stadium, and will watch the match on Sunday as well, according to third-year student Adham Bieber.